On Nov. 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, 12, was playing a solitary game of “cops and robbers” with a non-lethal pellet gun. A complainant called Cleveland police to investigate the scene and repeated to the 911 operator the gun was “probably fake.” Within two seconds of encountering the kid who stood at 5-foot-7 and weighed 195 pounds, officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed the innocent boy.
In January 2015, Rice’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The city of Cleveland has responded to the complaint, which also lists Rice’s older sister, Tajai, now 14, who at the time she arrived at the “crime scene” was handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police squad car when she attempted to run to the aid of her slain brother crying, “my baby brother, they killed my baby brother,” as a plaintiff.
They counter the claim saying Rice, failed to “exercise due care to avoid injury” and he died due to “the conduct of individuals or entities other than Defendant [officer Loehmann].”
Rice didn’t received medical attention until an FBI agent on a nearby bank detail arrived, almost five minutes after the shooting.
The entire incident was caught on video and reluctantly released to the public after Rice’s mother’s urging.
The family’s attorney, Walter Madison, said in a statement on Friday, Feb. 27, “I do believe that a 12-year-old child died unnecessarily at the hands of Cleveland police officers and I do believe that certain officers shouldn’t have been entitled to wear the uniform.”